Social Studies: Ida B. Wells

Updated: 5/22/2020
Social Studies: Ida B. Wells

Storyboard Text

  • In 1878, Ida B. Wells went to visit her grandmother. While she was there, Ida learned that a yellow fever epidemic had hit her hometown. Both of Ida's parents as well as her infant brother caught the virus and didn't survive. So Ida, being the oldest of her siblings, was left to raise them on her own. Determined to keep the family together, Ida got a job as a teacher and eventually she moved to Memphis, Tennessee with her siblings, where she continued to work as a teacher/educator.
  • I will not move. I'm a lady, too. I have every right to sit here. You can see my ticket.
  • Excuse me, ma'am, you're sitting in the ladies coach. It is only for white women.
  • ... I don't know.
  • Is Mama gonna be alright?
  • Grandmother's House
  • Oh no, Dad's got it too.
  • Entering Memphis, 800 miles
  • --BACK AT HOME--
  • Oh, Ida. I'm so glad you came. Did you hear about the yellow fever epidemic? It hit your town a few days ago. Is your family still there?
  • Ida B. Wells was once sitting in the ladies coach on a train at age 22 when a conductor told her to move her seat because the coach was only for white women. Ida had a first class ticket, and so she refused to move. Three men dragged her out of the train, but as soon as she got back to Memphis, she sued the railroad. Unfortunately, in the end, Ida didn't win the case, but her bravery to stand up for herself like that inspired many later activists for women's suffrage and abolitionists.
  • Later, when Ida joined the suffrage movement, she realized that she was one of the only colored women fighting for suffrage. So in January 1913, a few months before the women's suffrage parade in Washington D.C., Ida founded the Alpha Suffrage Club, an organized a group of colored women who believed in their voting rights. She led them to protest alongside the other women fighting for suffrage. Ida B. Wells also marched in the parade on March 3rd, 1913, in front of the White House.